Alden was founded in Middlebury, Massachusetts in 1884 by Charles H. Alden. Although he arrived late to New England manufacturing scene, his timing could not have been better. In the 1830s, shoe manufacturing was second only to farming as the most predominant industry in the region. The trade employed over 38,000 men and women.
Beginning in the 1850s, a series of technical innovations propelled the craft forward by mechanizing many previously manual processes. In 1858, Lyman R. Blake patented a sewing machine that stitched shoe soles to the uppers. By 1874, Charles Goodyear had introduced his signature and now eponymous welting method that made it easier for shoes to be continuously resoled without damaging the uppers. Finally, Jan Ernst Matzeliger developed the first mechanized shoe-lasting machine in 1882, which enabled him to produce between 150-700 shoes a day.
In the 19th century, there were once hundreds of shoemakers in New England, but now Alden is one of only a few factories. Alden is considered a heritage, family-owned brand. Many of the company’s roughly 100 workers at its factory in Middleborough are second or third-generation, and it sources its leathers mostly from small tanneries in Europe and the U.S. – its shell cordovan comes from the last such tannery in America, Horween Leather Company. Alden has used Horween as their leather supplier since 1930, and is their largest cordovan customer.
According to heddels.com; en.wikipedia. Source of photos: internet